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One of the most sought after holiday resorts in Europe, Ayia Napa is a popular choice for holidaymakers looking for fun and sun on the island of Cyprus.
Situated in the southeastern Mediterranean Sea, Cyprus benefits from a year-round sunny climate and outstanding natural beauty. Blessed with superb sandy beaches and crystal clear waters, there are plenty of attractive holiday resorts dotted around the island.
Tourists flock to the resort of Ayia Napa year after year and it is rather easy to see why. With a stunning sandy beach and lively atmosphere, the majority of visitors to this resort are aged between 18 and 35 although it is also popular with families.
Situated between the city of Larnaca (towards the west) and Cape Greco (towards the east), this area of Cyprus was little more than a quiet fishing village until recent years. These days the resort's clubs and bars come alive during the summer months as international DJs and tourists arrive from all over the world to soak up the renowned party atmosphere.
As Europe's most southerly country, the sun in Cyprus is particularly strong between April and August. Sun worshippers head to Ayia Napa from May to October when the climate is reliably hot and sunny. During high summer (July to August) temperatures regularly soar to 35 degrees Celsius while days with highs of over 38 degrees Celcius (100 degrees Fahrenheit) are also common.
Visitors will find plenty of shaded areas throughout Ayia Napa, including those along the beach itself. These provide much needed respite from the strong summer sunshine as well as the opportunity to do some people watching.
Cyprus has some of the mildest winters in Europe making it one of the best places to catch some winter sunshine. It is a popular retreat for northern Europeans hoping to escape the cold and grey winter skies. Sightseeing and gentle relaxation are popular activities at this time of year as the island shifts down a gear and experiences a change of pace.
Nissi Beach in Ayia Napa is Europe's answer to Sydney's Bondi Beach. Its golden sands and lively atmosphere are popular with visitors of all ages. There are plenty of sun umbrellas and sun loungers available for hire and there are plenty of bars offering refreshments along on the beach. Watersports are popular and a number of beach operators offer the chance to cool off in the sea with a banana boat ride.
In terms of nightlife, Ayia Napa is known as a serious party destination and the clubbing season reaches its height during July and August when the bars and clubs really come alive. The majority of Ayia Napa's nightlife is centred around the main square with karaoke clubs, bars and numerous clubs such as Insomnia, The Castle Club and the new superclub Babylon.
There are also endless opportunities for relaxation here. Tourists can leave the busy resorts and enjoy peace and tranquility at the Ayia Napa Monastery. The early morning is the best time to visit, before large groups of tourists arrive by midday to admire the beautiful architecture. This monastery is almost 500 years old, dating back to the Venetian times. There are a number of boat trips sailing out to the popular resort of Protoras and Cape Greco, for those looking for some relief from the heat inland.
Eating out in Ayia Napa is a real treat, with a huge range of restaurants offering all types of cuisine. Sample a traditional Cypriot Meze meal, seafood at the Esperia restaurant near the harbour (where holidaymakers have the option of checking out the fish beforehand), or of course a typical British Breakfast in the morning. For families, a meal outdoors in the quieter part of the town is a popular choice.
For family fun, a trip to WaterWorld or the Marine Life Museum will go down well with little ones. There are plenty of family-friendly restaurants and sports venues for those who like to keep active whilst on holiday. Fans of retail therapy won't be disappointed either, with a large numbers of shops and supermarkets selling a host of items from swimsuits to Cypriot wine.
Whilst there is no public transport around the resort, there are bus and boat tours to other destinations in Cyprus, such as the beaches of Agia Triada, Pernera and Mouzoura. The nearest international airport is Lanarca Airport, which is only a short distance away.